Nassau is the largest city and capital of the Bahamas. It’s the vivacious alter ego to the country’s relaxed character. Nassau brims with an endless wave of cruise-ship tourists. The city boasts miles of spectacular, soft-sand beaches and stretches of vivid coral reefs. This vibrant capital is filled with wildly-colored colonial buildings with a funky charm. Visitors come here to see the well-preserved colonial mansions, fortresses, and cathedrals. In addition to all those attractions, the city has a swashbuckling pirate past. Tourists come in from different parts of the world to bask on the sandy beaches and relax in the warm tropical climate.
With so many options to choose from, this list of 15 best day trips from Nassau has sorted through the favorites to bring the best destinations around this beautiful Bahamian city.
1. Blue Lagoon Island
This private island is located five kilometers from Nassau. Initially, the island’s lagoon was a salt marsh and was officially referred to as Salt Cay.
The three-acre marine mammal facility serves as an attraction for both local and international tourists. Blue Lagoon Island offers tourists everything they could ever wish for when picturing a private tropical island – pristine, white beaches, clear turquoise waters, hundreds of coconut trees, coral reefs, and beautiful natural vegetation.
In the 19th century, the island became a popular stopover for pirates, who used the salt from the lagoon to preserve their food.
It is here that you will find some of the best beaches in the Bahamas. Visitors come to this incredibly beautiful island to swim in the lagoon and relax in hammocks along the palm-lined beaches.
2. Gambier Village
This is one of the oldest villages in the region of New Providence in the Bahamas. The village dates back to the early 1800’s and is located 10 miles west of Nassau.
Gambier Village was established by liberated Americans after the abolishment of the slave trade in 1806. Some of the liberated Africans such as Elijah Morris left an indelible stamp on the village’s history. In 1841, he led the largest slave revolt in the US.
Highlights of the day trip to Gambier include the Thatched Roof Huts, the Rock Oven, The Community Well, the descendants of Elijah Morris, and the St. Peter’s Baptist Church that was built in 1856.
3. Paradise Island
This 685-acre island in the Bahamas was originally known as Hog Island. Paradise Island is located to the north of the island of New Providence. This tourist hub is connected to the island of New Providence by two massive bridges that cross Nassau Harbor. The first bridge was built in 1966 while the second was built in the late 1990’s.
Paradise Island is best known for the sprawling Atlantis resort that has extensive beaches, swimming pools, and water rides. Tourists love the island due to its powder-soft beaches and crystal-clear waters.
The Marina Village found here is a great place to take a scenic stroll. Other prime attractions include the Aquaventure Water Park and the peaceful Versailles Gardens.
At the western tip of Paradise Island is the Hog Island Lighthouse that was built in 1817.
Recommended tour: Nassau: Sightseeing Bus Tour of Nassau and Paradise Island
4. Cable Beach
This beach is popular for its sand, crystal-clear waters, and the multiple resorts that line it. Cable Beach is located 5.6 kilometers to the western side of Nassau.
The iconic stretch of coastline features white sandy beaches, calm breezes, clear waters, and lively beachfront establishments.
Cable Beach is an ideal escape from Nassau; it’s the go-to beach for visitors who are looking to relax by the sea and stretch out on the white sand. The waters are always warm, making Cable Beach ideal for swimming year-round.
5. Spanish Wells
This small town on the Island of St. George’s Cay is one of the Districts of Bahamas. The island is located 48 miles from Nassau. Spanish Wells is so petite that most people move around using golf carts rather than full-sized cars.
In 1992 and 1999, the island experienced huge losses after the area was hit by Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Floyd respectively. These caused a lot of damage to the island.
There’s a 5.8-kilometer bridge that links Spanish Wells to neighboring Russell Island.
In the past, the island was used as the last stop for Spanish ships that were returning from Europe. They stopped here to refill their water supply from wells that had been dug for this specific purpose; that’s how the island got its name.
The waters here are crucial to the mainstay of the island; the way in which they glisten from the bright rays of the sun is alluring to visitors.
6. Russell Island
This secluded island in the Bahamas was once home only to tropical fruit farms. Today, the island is filled with many residential homes. Russell Island is considered to be one of the cleanest and safest Bahamian communities. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the tranquil and slow pace of island life.
On your day trip to Russell Island, you will pass quite a number of mango, avocado, guava, coconut, banana, and a variety of citrus trees throughout the island.
Visitors come here to participate in activities such as diving, snorkeling, and reef fishing.
This long, skinny, sparsely-populated island is located 60 miles from Nassau. The island’s name is pronounced as “E-Loo-Thra”. Eleuthera measures about one mile wide and 110 miles long; its length allows it to accommodate miles of spectacular beaches that just lie there, waiting to be explored.
Most of the settlements on this island are small, widely-spaced communities that are filled with colorful buildings.
If quiet beauty and simplicity are what you’re looking for on a day trip from Nassau, then Eleuthera is the absolute paradise for this experience, thanks to its lush tropical greenery and the magical pink and white sand.
The people of this quiet and sleepy island are warm, welcoming, generous, and friendly.
8. Harbor Island
Harbor Island – known as Briland to residents – is an administrative district in the Bahamas. It is famous for its pink sand beaches that are found across the eastern coastline. The pink color is due to the presence of foraminifera – a microscopic organism whose shell is reddish-pink.
Harbor Island has colorful flowers lining the streets and English Colonial-style buildings. The island’s rich history dates back to the 1700’s.
The weather on this tropical island neither gets too hot nor too cold. This day trip is the ultimate getaway for individuals seeking a laidback destination that’ll provide a quiet refuge from the chaotic routine of daily life.
9. Dunmore Town
Dunmore Town in the Bahamas has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The town is named after the governor of the Bahamas who served from 1786 to 1798 – John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore.
This picturesque seafront town is an ideal trip for people who want to get away from the crowded tourist spots. There are not many shops in this small town that is characterized by wooden board cottages in bright, pretty colors.
This lovely Bahamian town is located 87 kilometers northeast of Nassau and is such a fun town to explore.
This is the westernmost district of the Bahamas. Bimini is located about 210 kilometers from Nassau and comprises of a chain of islands. The three main islands in the chain are North, South, and East Bimini.
Perched on the western end of the Bahamas Bank, Bimini district is surrounded by shallow reefs near the shore. There are hundreds of marine animals found near the shores, where the Gulf Stream meets the Bahamas Bank. Fishermen come to these shores to fish; the most common fish found here are tuna and snapper.
11. Marsh Harbor
Marsh Harbor is a town in The Abacos Islands, Bahamas. Marsh Harbor lies on a peninsula just off the Great Abacos Highway. This town is known for its marina and beaches. Visitors can dock their boats at any of the full-service marinas.
There is a growing number of shops, cafes, hotels, resorts, and other service amenities in the Abacos Islands. The lively downtown is able to maintain a small-town feel while offering all the city amenities, including a post office, bookstore, laundries, specialty shops, and grocery stores.
12. Andros Island
Andros is an archipelago within the Bahamas. It is the largest of all the Bahamian Islands, its land area consists of hundreds of small islets and cays.
This island boasts abundant natural attractions. Andros has exceptional natural surroundings, including the mesmerizing blue holes that are rumored to be home to the Lusca (a mythical creature), the world’s third-largest fringing barrier reef, and numerous species of flora and fauna.
Andros is an amazing day trip option for kayakers, bird watchers, eco-travelers, hikers, and divers.
13. Grand Bahama
This is the northernmost island of the Bahamas and the fourth largest. Grand Bahama is approximately 153 kilometers long and 24 kilometers wide at its widest point. The island is divided into two main administrative districts – East Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama.
The island is surrounded by sun-soaked beaches and miles of crystal-clear, turquoise ocean water. This makes Grand Bahama a great spot for a wide range of water-sports, such as scuba diving, parasailing, and snorkeling.
This city is located in the free trade zone and is a district of the Bahamas.
Businesses in the Freeport area do not pay taxes, as agreed by the Bahamian government in August 1955. The Hawksbill Creek Agreement stated that the businesses in Freeport shouldn’t pay taxes before 1980. The timeline was later moved to 2054.
Freeport is served by the Grand Bahama International Airport and the domestic Bahamian ferry services. The Airport receives both domestic and international flights from various islands of the Bahamas as well as from Canada and the US.
15. The Lucayan National Park
This 40-acre national park was established in 1977.
The Lucayan National Park features one of the longest underwater cave systems across the globe. This one-of-a-kind cave system stretches for six miles. The national park also has amazing beaches.
The national park is teeming with abundant wildlife and once-in-a-lifetime ecosystems. This park is the perfect place to visit on a day trip from Nassau. There are nature trails and boardwalks all over.